The Underappreciated Super Food That is Kelp

Kelp is found in the ocean along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the north near Nova Scotia as well as in the Pacific Ocean from as far down as California and on up to Alaska. The two types of kelp you can eat are known as sugar wrack and tangle weed.
Tangle weed is brown to an olive green in coloration and comes with a thin, horny stem. It has many different fingers coming off the stem.
Sugar wrack consists of one olive green to brown blade that can grow to a length of fifteen feet.
Both sugar wrack and tangle weed are types of kelp with a great deal of richness when it comes to their nutritional value.
History of Kelp Use
Kelp was first spotted by a researcher in dentistry who was studying tooth decay. He found that, when working with a tribe of indigenous peoples who lived in the Andes Mountains of Peru, they carried a little bag with each of them. Inside the bag was kelp. The researcher asked the subjects why they carried kelp with them and found that they used it to protect their heart.
These ancient peoples found what researchers later learned and that was that kelp was high in calcium, iodine and minerals that were beneficial to the heart. In another study, researchers found that when chickens were given kelp, they made eggs that had stronger shells.
They found that kelp helped bones heal faster when the subjects took kelp as a supplement. In fact, the research scientists found that bones healed twenty percent faster when the patients ate kelp every day.
Health Benefits of Kelp
It turns out that kelp has about the same composition of the ocean, which is nearly the same composition of the body. It provides us with plenty of minerals our body needs to function.
When we eat foods from the ocean, such as saltwater fish and ocean plants, including kelp, there are health benefits in doing so. Kelp provides us with many of the minerals we lack when we try to eat foods grown on the ground, usually in soil that is low in minerals.
Kelp is high in iodine, which is very necessary to the human body. We need iodine from kelp in order to have maximum function of the thyroid gland. Unfortunately, most of us are deficient in iodine.
The health benefits of kelp include the following:
• Kelp helps maximize our energy levels. High energy levels are linked to the amount of iodine we take in.
• Iodine is helpful in calming the body down and in alleviating nervous energy so we are less irritable and get a better night’s sleep.
• Iodine in kelp is a great oxidizing catalyst. It helps us burn the calories in the food we eat every day. If the food isn’t burned up properly, it goes straight to fat.
• Research has shown that the mind is better functioning and thinks clearer when we take in enough iodine.
• Iodine is helpful for our cardiovascular system and the circulatory system.
• Iodine has been found to increase the ability of the body to heal from bone fractures.
Iodine
Besides kelp, there are other sources of iodine we can eat as a part of a healthy diet. Foods high in iodine include salt-water fish, carrots, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, cabbage, onions, and strawberries.
Because we don’t usually eat these foods on a regular basis, many of us are deficient in iodine.
Kelp comes in 500 milligram tablets that, when taken as a daily supplement, can provide us with iodine and other minerals we need for proper health.
Nutrition in Kelp
• A 100-gram serving of kelp has approximately 43 calories
• Kelp consists of 76% carbohydrates, 14% protein and 10% fat
• Kelp contains more fiber than even brown rice with 6.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams of wet weight
• Contains significant levels of isoleucine, methionine, cysteine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine along with lesser levels of phenylalanine, tyrosine, leucine, lysine, and histidine.
• Kelp contains more sodium than people who are on a low salt diet or those with heart problems should eat, so intake should be moderate.
• Kelp has high levels of magnesium, iron, iodine, and calcium.
• It also has many trace minerals including copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
• Very high levels of vitamin K which is critical for blood clotting and bone health
• High levels of folate for energy production
• Moderate levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, E, C, and pantothenic acid.
Preparation
There are many easy ways to prepare and enjoy kelp. It can be purchased in dry form to add to salads or shredded and tossed with other seaweeds and dressing to make a seaweed salad. Kelp can also be used in stew and soup recipes. Often it is added to Miso soup in Japanese cooking and to make stocks in all styles of Asian cooking.\\\"\\\"

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